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Zombie Honeymoon (2004)

"All I'm trying to do is to kill as little people as possible before we get on the plane tomorrow!"

Zombie Honeymoon's plot: A young couple on their honeymoon are confronted with the problem of one of them turning into a zombie. Simple enough.

I didn't entirely know what to expect from this movie, so I pretty much watched without any preconceived notions. And lo and behold, for an independent production such as this, it's really not bad. I dare say even good.

Short recap: Danny and Denise are on their honeymoon. When out at the beach, Danny becomes infected by a zombie that rises like some sort of rotting Poseidon from its watery grave. By vomiting what I suppose to be coagulated, rotten blood into his mouth.

That was one of the big WTF?! - moments. Apparently, the zombies in this movie "procreate" by vomiting into people's faces. An interesting note, I can even somehow understand the technicalities behind it, but... it is a bit stupid. Especially since the zombies seem to die after the act of... well, vomiting. Why would anything have the urge to throw up into people's faces when that means certain death? Then again, I think about stuff like that far too often. I'm sure there's a perfectly logical explanation for it, I just haven't found it yet.

Well, Danny gets vomited upon (would that make him a vomitee?), and dies on the way to hospital. Before he wakes up, that is. In the hospital. And the doctors don't appear to take additional tests. Why? He just died and came back to life. It surely wouldn't hurt to, you know, keep him for a few more days to see that everything is alright. After all, he just DIED. Alas, I am not familiar with how things like that work out in the US, so I might just operate on my limited knowledge of American culture based on all the prejudices we Europeans have.

This movie is more of a drama than a horror flick, but it actually works as a horror movie. Sounds conflicting, I know, but if you watch it, you'll see what I mean.

We even get some softcore sex scene, which was well made. I usually am not a fan of watching happy couples kiss and hold hands and have normal, vanilla consensual sex in my horror flicks, but this one was nice.

The romance and happiness that permeate the first 20 minutes of the movie really manage to set the mood for a weird, disturbing ride that essentially isn't about zombies but about what love and commitment can mean, and to what lengths some people can go for their loved ones. Sounds like a bad romantic movie straight from the big screen, right? But when the terror inherent in that crazy relationship strikes, it does so swiftly, suddenly and totally unexpected.

I say unexpected, which may seem a bit like a paradox: We ALL know what will happen, we are waiting for it from the very second the movie starts. We are waiting for Danny to start eating people. Because this movie is called "Zombie Honeymoon", and because a freakin' sea-zombie threw up into his face (well, bit of a stretch of logic here, but hey, you know what I mean). Still, I personally did not expect it to start out like the way it does. Kudos to David Gebroe.

Danny (our zombie) struggles with his condition, and the love the two young people share is touching. And obsessive, but that was to be expected.
The element of suffering on Denise's part is overwhelming throughout the movie after she finds out about Danny's "problem", but it doesn't seem artificial for even one second. Great acting. I also want to note here that the dialogues never seem forced, and there are a few jewels to be found.

The deterioration of the recently zombified young husband is well played and depicted, especially his weakening mental capacities, his instincts taking over and the decay of his body - although at times (and by that I mean "pretty much all the time") it just is going too fast - as in, in one scene his skin looks normal if a bit pale, the next one it's already blueish-grey with a bit of pus oozing out. He certainly appears to be one fast-rotting zombie, and I don't know about you, but my knowledge of biological processes makes that a tad unbelievable. But whatever works, I guess.
However, the increasingly rapid loss of Danny's human mind becomes ever more apparent with each scene.

I personally welcome the trend towards movies that explore the change from human to ...non-human. A liminal state, if you will. I thoroughly enjoy that kind of movie, it is a fascinating subject dear to my heart. Maybe that's why I like this movie so much and am willing to forgive even terrible things like "high-speed-rotting".

All in all, I can recommend it to people who are not adverse to having a bit more ...humanity and drama in their horror flicks. The colours are used in a good way (look out for the colour red), the acting is pretty solid all the way through, and there are only a few minor things that leave you shaking your head. One of them is the high-speed rotting, the other one the already mentioned "zombies throwing up"-thing. It's really just minor things like that - or the fact that Danny's chewing-motions when eating long pig are not realistic. You need to use your jaw differently when dealing with raw meat, mate!

The gore is nice, if sparsely used, and that really goes a long way towards establishing the weirdness that has taken over the life of Denise and the... undeath of Danny. I just want to say that "fingers into carotis" is an awesome idea. And I mean AWESOME.

The blood looks good, too, and has a pretty realistic consistency, although it's a bit too pink. But it dries properly, and that's rare in horror movies, so I'm certainly not going to complain.

"Stand by Your Man" - a perfect summary.

6/10 (I was torn between the 6 and a 7, but maybe this will inspire Geroe to take more time next time he has a rotting character)

This movie is actually based on David Geroe's brother-in-law. Read more about it on the movie's official site.

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